Tomorrow I will
I am a single mama to the greatest little human I have ever met, my daughter Miss Bella Rose. Bella was born on Spring Day 2011. She has spent the last 21 months becoming my greatest inspiration and biggest driving force. She loves tea, her baby doll and is a serious bookworm. She dabbles in baby modelling, is fiercely opinionated and independent (both characteristics that are making me fear her teenage years), talks constantly (like she has a daily-word-limit she needs to hit) and spends every day making me grateful that I was chosen to be her mama.
I strive to make her childhood the best it can possibly be. I try to take an interest in everything she does, I prepare her food, I spend hours doing arts and crafts with her, I take her to the park at least twice a week and I will spend the rest of my days finding ways to make my little girl happy.
As a single mama (or any mama for that matter), I sometimes feel completely overwhelmed. When you get home from work and remember the dishwasher hasn’t been unpacked, the clothes haven’t been washed, dinner hasn’t been cooked and your toddler is nagging “mama mama mama!”
Most nights you just get on with it. You distract your little one while you get things done. You unpack the dishes and put the washing on at lightening speed. You cook up something with whatever is in the fridge. You feed and bath your baby. You finally get to eat your own dinner at 9pm when she’s asleep and the house is quiet. And then you get ready for the next day when it starts all over again. During those days when I am feeling overwhelmed, I often sit down late in the evening, when all is done, and think //-
Tomorrow I will do it better. Tomorrow I won’t get frustrated. Tomorrow I will have things done. Tomorrow I will try harder.
And often life happens, things get in the way and you make the same promise to yourself. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.
I recently had one such week. My little Bella had been sick with the flu the week before, which of course meant that I managed a sum total of 3 hours sleep a night. Baby-Daddy had been working at night and wasn’t able to pitch in. So I had let things slip. I let the ball drop. We got home from a long day of crèche and work. I hadn’t had time to do grocery shopping, or the dishes, or the washing, or pack away her toys from the night before. Bella was at my feet whining and I was getting frustrated. And then it hit me – the memory of that promise to do better tomorrow. I stopped and listened…
She wasn’t whining, she was just a little girl who wanted her mama to sit on the floor and build a puzzle with her. So instead of distracting her so that I could get things done, I let her lead me to the carpet and we sat and did a puzzle, and another one, and then I got out the paints and we painted pictures, read a book and sang some nursery rhymes. And then I called up some of my girlfriends and announced, ‘girls, we’re going out for dinner!’ and we did just that, the girls and me and my Bella Boo.
That night when she went to sleep and the house was quiet and I was alone in my thoughts, I made a different promise to myself.
Tomorrow I will do the dishes, tomorrow I will do the washing and pick up the toys, and tomorrow I will do better. But today I spent with my baby girl.
I want to be the kind of mama that doesn’t miss a dance show, or a sports game. I want to wake her early on a Saturday and surprise her with a trip to the beach. I want to spend hours painting and dancing and singing with her. I want her to have the best childhood that she can possibly have, and I will document it all, so that when the teen years hit and she prefers her friends / boyfriends / the latest boy-band to hanging out with me, I will hold onto those memories until she is a mama and remembers how much I did for her, so that she will want to be that kind of mama too.
They grow up too fast. Those moments may slip away from you and you need to take it all in, breathe and just relax. We are all doing the best we can, and if it means dirty laundry while you build puzzles, then so be it, because it will go by so quickly. Enjoy every moment. She won’t be small for long. Instead of cringing when they cry at 3am, just think about when she’s 18 and out partying till 3am and how you will give anything to rather have her home safe in your arms.
This post was originally published on www.babygroup.co.za, and was the article that started it all.